Portugal is currently experiencing economic stability and optimism. With anticipated GDP growth, the prospects of a minimum and average salary increase and easier access to consumer credit, apparel and footwear specialist retailing is expected to remain on an upward trajectory over the forecast period.
Although the economic recovery in Portugal could be seen as a threat to low-cost retailers, with consumers potentially trading up to more standard and premium apparel and footwear, the reality is that fast fashion is growing in popularity in the country. With low incomes when compared with other Western European countries, it is no surprise that fast fashion players are continuing to gain ground.
The adoption of an omnichannel strategy has been seen in most retailing channels, but particularly apparel and footwear specialist retailing. The use of e-commerce and m-commerce is on the rise, with retailers encouraging consumers to research and buy products online but then collect them in-store.
In a highly fragmented channel where brand owners struggle to impose their concepts, Inditex remained successful in 2018 thanks to a combination of both a multi-brand and omnichannel strategy. The GBO’s brands include Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius and Oysho, with only Pull & Bear suffering a decline in value sales in 2018.
The strength of multinational players such as Inditex, Associated British Foods and Hennes & Mauritz, among others, in apparel and footwear specialist retailing has been reflected in the bankruptcy of companies which once posted positive performances, for example Ricon/Delveste – Comércio de Vestuário. This domestic company, which represented and produced items for the Swedish company Gant in Portugal, filed for bankruptcy in March 2018.
Competition remained fierce in apparel and footwear specialist retailing in 2018 and so in order to differentiate from one’s competitors brand owners need to find ways to attract and retain customers. In October 2017, Sacoor surprised its customers with the opening of a new flagship store in the Colombo shopping centre in Lisbon.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.